Monday, July 15, 2024

State awards Brunswick $5 million for Navassa utility merger

Brunswick County acquired the Town of Navassa’s utility system in June 2020. (Port City Daily/File photo)
Brunswick County acquired the Town of Navassa’s utility system in June 2020. (Port City Daily/File photo)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Brunswick County has been awarded a combined $5 million in grant and forgivable loan funding to upgrade Navassa’s utility systems.

In July 2020, Navassa handed its utility systems over to the county after years of financial disputes.

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In early March, the State Water Infrastructure Authority granted the county $2,852,818, funded by the Clean Water State Reserve Fund. The county is responsible for paying back 1.5% of the total, or $42,792, to pay for the grant fee. Funds will be used for the Navassa wastewater rehabilitation project.

The State Water Infrastructure Authority also approved a $2,218,967 principal forgiveness loan for the county. Funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the county must pay back a 2% loan fee, or $44,379. This financing will pay for the Navassa water rehabilitation project. The loan must be reviewed by the Local Government Commission before final approval.

To meet federal and state standards needed to secure the funding, the county plans to hire consultants to prepare engineering reports. Monday, commissioners will consider approving two task orders totaling $40,000, to pay the engineering firm WithersRavenel to prepare the reports.

When approving the merger, the county agreed to pay for improvements to bring the town’s utility systems up to standard. At the time, the upgrade cost was unknown. The county also took on $467,200 in Navassa’s debts and forgave $509,951 in debts the town owed the county related to the 2012 expansion of the Northeast Brunswick Regional Wastewater Plant.

Navassa’s former utility system consists of 325 water and 321 sewer customers.

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